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>Congaree Swamp

Using a gorgeous reference photo, I did this painting in acrylics for the family of a dear friend, Doug. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack before age 60 about 3 years ago and his wife and daughter have become dear friends of mine too. Doug and I carpooled to work together for several months not long before he died and he glancingly mentioned having played a part in protesting development in this swamp area in South Carolina where he lived as a teen.

At his funeral, I discovered the truth: he was one of fewer than 10 people who managed to save this swampland from development. Today it is know as Congaree National Park and this is what the park proudly says:

“Welcome to the largest remnant of old-growth floodplain forest remaining on the continent! Experience national and state champion trees, towering to record size amidst astonishing biodiversity. Walk, paddle or just relax within this dynamic floodplain ecosystem. Beauty and tranquility reign supreme in the midst of this natural treasure.”

Thanks to Doug and his friends.

In painting the reflections for this painting (which I learned, come directly at the viewer, and have no relation to how the sun shadow works), I turned the painting over often to ensure I was accurate in how the reflections were coming out. It’s not perfect, but I am so proud to have made this lovely little contribution to the memory of a dear friend. I captured the image digitally, as I do all of my paintings.

Today’s lesson: Reflections come directly at the viewer, a perfect mirror image of what’s above. Shadows, on the other hand, go away from the direction of light and have no relation to the viewer.

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